Page:Olmsted report on Portland, Oregon parks, 1903.djvu/43

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55
REPORT OF THE PARK BOARD

sufficiently varied and sufficiently furnished with forest trees to be interesting. It is cut in two by Kelly street, which is regrettable, and it has no frontage upon and only a narrow and crooked entrance from Corbett street, which has an electric railway and is the most built-up and most important street in the vicinity. Its west boundary has the rears of a row of houses backing upon it and its south boundary is against private property, both of which conditions are unsuitable and unfortunate. It is to be hoped that it will be found practicable to buy the lots south of this park to secure a frontage on Bancroft avenue within a few years and that eventually the park can be extended to a frontage on Corbett street.

STATION SQUARE.

A liberal open space is needed in front of and about every large public building, and a railroad station is no exception to this rule. The railroad station, particularly if a union station, is one of the most important buildings of a city. Great numbers of people arrive and depart from it, and therefore not only should the building itself be large and dignified (as it fortunately is in this case), but, in addition, it is exceedingly desirable that its surroundings should be commodious and handsome. The present provision of open space southwest of the station is not liberal in effect, and will undoubtedly, in time, become quite inadequate to meet the requirements of convenience. But aside from the mere matter of convenience a favorable impression ought to be produced upon strangers leaving the station for points in the city, and everyone having occasion to use the station would derive a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction from having a public square in front of it.

The square in front of the Union Station of Portland, bounded by Johnson, Irving, Sixth and Seventh streets, is at present partly covered with a comparatively cheap class of buildings, mostly one-storied stores. It will be a comparatively expensive piece of ground to acquire, yet its acquisition would repay the city in the long run better than the acquirement of any other similar tract of land.

ADDITIONAL PARK BLOCK.

The half block north of the northernmost park square is at present unoccupied, and ought to be acquired by the city to complete the row. It seems probable that the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, which owns this half block, would be willing to transfer it to the city, especially if it can obtain another piece of land sufficiently desirable for the purposes of the railroad.